The Consumer Partnership for eHealth, a coalition of advocacy organizations, has issued a framework for CarePlans 2.0, a next generation of health and care plans that embeds patient-centered principles in an electronic environment to improve communication and foster better outcomes.

Today’s care plans are often static, focus on coordination between providers, and don’t provide the coordination, tools and flexibility that patients need to adequately comply, according to the coalition. CarePlans 2.0 includes a call for future stages of the electronic health records meaningful use program to include consumer-oriented technical functions to support care planning, as well as alternative ways for providers to view what a care plan should look like. “To achieve robust and effective planning and communication, we must move beyond our mental construct of a care plan as a document fixed in time, to a multidimensional, person-centered health and care planning process built on a dynamic, electronic platform.”

Here is an example: “If an overweight individual finds a doctor’s goal to lose 20 pounds daunting, but personally wants to be able to walk five miles without stopping, then the care plan would be designed around that goal--perhaps resulting in weight loss of more than 20 pounds. The care plan would also break down the individual’s goals into achievable steps, such as detailing how many days per week the person should walk and for how long. If the individual prefers to walk on a track rather than a busy street, the care plan would integrate both facility schedule and transportation supports as necessary. When the person achieves the goal, the care plan would be updated accordingly and the individual could identify a new goal.”

The coalition’s recommended core consumer principles for care planning around the consumer are:

* Health and care plans should be goal-oriented, dynamic tools (not static documents).

* Tools that facilitate health and care planning should enable all members of the care team to securely access and contribute information, according to their roles.

* Health and care planning and tools should facilitate decision-making and specify accountability.

* Every individual would benefit from health and care planning and tools.

More information on the Consumer Partnership for eHealth’s Care Plans 2.0 recommendations is available here.

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